Using just a screwdriver to change out a 100 amp main panel to a new 200 amp panel

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by Ian Gills, May 7, 2010.

  1. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    I have had two quotes for a heavy up and the best came in from a local firm - less than when I got the same job quoted two years ago by a big firm.

    I have asked them especially to get a new Square D panel for me, because I like my old Square D panel (it's just so easy to get new breakers).

    Is this a good choice of brand or have I made a mistake asking them for this?
    Last edited: May 7, 2010
  2. Furd

    Furd Engineer

    Messages:
    446
    Location:
    Wet side of Washington State
    Square D is good equipment. I suggest that you specify the "QO" line rather than accept the "Homeline" equipment. While the Homeline is certainly acceptable the QO is a bit better in my opinion and worth the slight increase in price.
  3. Scuba_Dave

    Scuba_Dave Extreme DIY Homeowner

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    885
    Location:
    South of Boston, MA
    My main 200a is a Square D QO, 100a sub is a homeline (free from someone)
    Subs in pool cabana & addition are Square D QO
    Having the same makes it easier swapping breakers between them if needed
    Last edited: May 18, 2010
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    You have more options with the Homeline, because it can use the "interchangeable" breakers. But, QO have a better reputation, although they cost more.
  5. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Well they put a 200 amp QO in and it is now very nice.

    Hopefully I'll get some time to fix a few of the quibbles I have found with it before it gets inspected.

    The eletrician used a few metal staples to hold the wire and I don't like those so they'll have to be pulled and replaced with something a little easier on the cable. And a few of the cable clamps have not been tightened down into the panel enough, so I'll need to fix those.

    Sigh. DIY is really the only way to get a job done right.
  6. Norcal01

    Norcal01 New Member

    Messages:
    17
    Just because a breaker "fits" does not mean it's OK to use it. A competitive make circuit breaker must be UL "classified" to be used in a specific panel.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Location:
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    quote;Sigh. DIY is really the only way to get a job done right.

    At least according to your definition of "right". Millions of miles of wires have been installed with metal stapels and they have NOT be "hard" on the wires. If the cable clamps are not tight why do YOU have to tighten them, unless it is not a safety factor, which they are usually not since they are not part of the grounding circuit. I doubt that ANY technician would do any job to your satisfaction.
  8. Ian Gills

    Ian Gills Senior Robin Hood Guy

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    Correct and especially when they do not use common sense, which many of them only seem to use in their own homes.

    I had my electrical inspection today for my service upgrade and was shocked at how nasty inspectors are. I always knew how nasty they could be to DIYers but, falsely, believed they would be more polite to licensed professionals.

    My electrican had left my permit in his office - a 5 minute drive. Inspector turned up, OK'd the work but - laughing - refused to sign off on it because the permit was not there and - laughing - refused to wait.

    I kept him going with small-talk and just as he got in the car, the electrician arrived. The inspector really laid into him but the work was eventually signed off on.

    But again, I'd rather trust a DIYer.
    Last edited: May 18, 2010
  9. enosez

    enosez Member

    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    Long Island NY
    I've seen where some DIYers have tightened the clamp so much that it shorted the wires.
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